I see nothing wrong with wanting to optimize ones combat benefit in what you’ve coined “apex” guild. Now, please hear me out before you flat out refuse a dragonarmy without dragons.Arman wrote: The only way dragons will be taken away is if the guild is closed. If your only interest is in maximising combat benefit without any consideration for domain thematics, then this guild isn't for you.
Krynn and Dragonlance lore isn’t my strong suit, but to my knowledge the dragonarmies were vast, varied in regards to races and in the thousands. Surely, there wasn’t one dragon per member? There wouldn’t be enough space in the skies for that. Furthermore, in my mind, being a dragonrider requires a certain skillset. A skillset that comes with a lot of benefits, not worthy of being forcefully and subsequently half-assedly pushed into an occupational guild for thematics alone.
Can we agree that most Dragonarmy members were common warriors, mercenaries and the like?
For the sake of argument, let’s say we agree on this. Now let’s picture a scenario:
Slug the Decorated Soldier of the Blue Dragonarmy, champion, male human has been dreaming about having his own dragon his entire life. He has but a few goals left. He needs
1) To become an Officer
2) Get permission from the High Officers to become a dragon rider
Some time passes, the General and his High Officers like Slug. He has potential, so they agree. He can bear the cost and honor of rearing a dragon to the benefit of the Dark Queen, and they bestow upon him a dragon egg!
New title: Slug the Egg Keeper of the Blue Dragonarmy, champion, male human
Slug now has occupied both his racial and his layman slot, and with it new titles in the Blue Dragonarmy. He has this egg in his inventory that currently serves as his guild item. In battle, he can hurl the egg at his enemies, doing insignificant damage. The egg, being indestructible, finds it’s way back into his inventory after being hurled and can be hurled again in a couple seconds. Surely not threatening at the moment.
Slug keeps grinding. His titles increase too. He is now Master Egg Keeper, but still nothing. Then suddenly, Slug dares think. He adds two and two together. He knows Emerald lies in wait outside her lair right outside Flotsam. Emerald doesn’t like Slug very much, and especially not after he starts hurling his egg at her. She responds with a dragon breath and crack! The egg hatches!
New title: Slug the Hatchling Caretaker of the Blue Dragonarmy, champion, male human
Slug marvels at his little baby dragon. He wants to shout “DRACARYS!”, but realizes that is in a different storyline. He does however carry the scarred tissue burns from the dragon’s breath as a permanent reminder of how his dragon came to be. Due to this bond, his dragon now obeys his commands, and in combat, the dragon now sits perched on his shoulder and hurls tiny lances of flame against his enemies, aiding him a bit more than the egg did. If the enemies come to close, the dragon will make loud shrieks, disheartening his enemies if they’re weak minded enough.
New title: Slug the Baby Dragon Handler of the Blue Dragonarmy, champion, male human
Time passes. Slug realizes that sometimes, when the dragon gets the killing blow with his little lance, the corpses are burnt to a crisp. He also realizes that his dragon might be hungry, so he offers a crispy corpse to his dragon. The dragon eats and eats, and suddenly
New title: Slug the Adolescent Dragon Handler of the Blue Dragonarmy, champion, male human
The now adolescent dragon is too heavy to be perched at the shoulder, but will fly alongside his master wherever he goes. He will hurl fire at his enemies and shriek ever more loudly. He eats crispy corpses and Slug slashes his foes like the true Dragonarmy soldier he is, and lo and behold:
New title: Slug the Young Dragon Handler of the Blue Dragonarmy, legend, male human
The young dragon is now too big to be indoors, but because of the tight bond with his dragon, Slug can now breathe fire indoors. It’s an impressive sight, but nothing compared to a dragon’s. He has also adapted the ability to shriek, frightening his enemies. When they fight together outside, the game changes dramatically. Slug is a formidable dragonrider, and he can mount and dismount his dragon on a whim. In battle, he will mount his dragon and take off into the air, temporarily cancelling melee (like the Knight’s charge), and later dive down upon his enemies, spraying them with dragon breath doing a pretty decent amount (caid from occ and layman in one go, since slash is also cancelled. Rough stuff).
The drawback, however, is that riding a dragon isn’t risk free. He can at any point fall off, and when he gets close to the ground to deliver his breath, the enemy gets an attack of opportunity to hook Slug off his dragon, making him fall off and take a chunk of damage for doing so. The risk definitely outweighs the reward, and will lower the older his dragon gets and the higher his stats get.
New title: Slug the Adult Dragon Rider of the Blue Dragonarmy, legend, male human
The adult dragon is more or less the same as the young. Slight increase in damage. And he can bring another passenger to quite a lot of destinations in and out of Krynn. The dragon has imparted more magic upon Slug too, and he can now
• See in the dark (dragon sight)
• Temporarily grow a dragon-like skin as protection
• Shriek with magical effects (fear)
Time passes, Slug fights ferociously with his adult dragon, and they are a very good team. He still hasn’t reached his full potential, but suddenly, after eating a LOT of crispy corpses
New title: Slug the Aged Dragon Master of the Blue Dragonarmy, myth, male human
The aged dragon adds further increase to damage on the dragon fly-overs, it increases the effects of the Slugs abilities and adds a couple of new ones. Slug can grow claw-like hands if he wants, with which he can fight indoors. He can also slash with them with added ferocity (some caid from layman added to caid slash), and they serve as two 40/40 dual wielded weapons. In addition, he still breathes his fire although unimpressive compared to what happens from the back of the dragon while outdoor.
The dragon can carry even more passengers. Steeds too!
Time passes, more slaughter, more crispy corpses. Bam! Max potential
New title: Slug the Ancient Dragon Master of the Blue Dragonarmy, myth, male draconian
All abilities have reached their full potential and max out combat aid from both both occupational and layman, combined. Slug has also been transformed into a draconian (why racial slot also had to go initially).
I’ll leave it to others to figure out what should be full guild power, and ofcourse, these abilities must fall within the confines of taxation, allowed combat aid and so forth. The Calians have huge advantages when in teams. The elementalists pay absurd amounts of tax for their abilities. Dragon Master could also be taxed heavily. We’d accept!
I’d like to add that being a Dragon Master does not come without risk. The Dragon will follow Slug at all times, and will stay awake even if Slug falls asleep (logs out). The dragon can be killed, and after a couple days of mourning, Slug will have to repeat the process. His bond is broken, it must be rebuilt.
No, Arman, I completely disagree that a dragonarmy cannot exist without dragons. I think dragons are AMAZEBLAST, but they cannot come between thematics and gameplay by force, not as long as the options for evils are as limited as they are. The dragon layman option enables you to fully utilize the dragons’ potential in ways that are impossible within occupational without threading on various toes, compromising the “apex” concept or create very angry conspiratorical players.
It is an honor and a privilege to become a Dragon Master. They are masters of the skies, highly sought after as assistance and it well deserves both racial and layman slot to become!